Utica schools’ staff recognized by Microsoft for excellence in technology education – The Macomb Daily

Two Utica Community Schools instructional technology coaches, have been recognized at the highest level for their talents, by joining the 2020-21 Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE) program.
To be accepted into the MIE Expert program, Trapper Hallam and Courtney Conley had to display their Microsoft proficiency and show how they transformed their classrooms or trainings to be more inclusive, supportive, and inventive.
With UCS being a Microsoft district, Conley felt this would be a great opportunity for her to gain new ways to leverage Microsoft Office 365 and other tools throughout the district.
“As a MIE Expert, I will be privy to tons of professional development as well as opportunities to collaborate globally with other MIE Experts,” Conley said.
According to Hallam, the best place to learn and grow as instructional technology coaches is through the MIE Expert program.
“The sharing that takes place in the community is fantastic, and we get to bring all of that back to our staff and the district,” Hallam said.
Utica Community Schools Superintendent Robert Monroe said the initiative shown by Hallam and Conley echoes the district’s support of staff and teachers expanding their knowledge base whenever possible.
“Courtney and Trapper have demonstrated great leadership in pursuing this program,” Monroe said. “I look forward to seeing how their efforts support student success throughout our district.”
“Joining the program offers us a wealth of knowledge and support to help foster growth for education, specifically in the digital space,” Hallam said.
However, for Hallam it is not about the recognition, rather it is about the community of excellent educators and instructional coaches that he and Conley get to be a part of.
“If we can find a better or more efficient way to help teachers make their job a little easier, then it was totally worth it,” Hallam said.